Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Court strikes down ban on same-sex marriage in California

Late breaking news from California: Court Strikes Down Ban on Gay Marriage in California
Once again, we see that figuring out which transactions should be legally regarded as repugnant involve some different roles for courts, legislatures, and, in the case of California, a popular referendum.

"The court ruled 2 to 1 that Proposition 8 violated the 14th Amendment of the Constitution by discriminating against a group of people, gay men and lesbians."

 "In the spring of 2008, the California Supreme Court threw out a 2000 voter proposition barring same-sex marriage. Opponents immediately marshaled their forces to get Proposition 8 on the ballot and get it passed. That proposition amended the California Constitution to bar same-sex marriage. During the period when same-sex marriages were legal in the state, nearly 18,000 couples married; their unions remain in place.  

"Judge Walker ruled in August of 2010 that the ban on same-sex marriage violated the rights of gay men and lesbians. The decision on Tuesday upheld Judge Walker’s ban and reasoning.

 "The California battle has churned on even as other states – including New York – have moved to legalize same-sex marriage in their Legislatures. Yet it has continued to attract national attention, largely because of California’s size, the state’s large and politically active gay population and the unusual coalition of lawyers who represented the case in court: David Boies, a Democrat, and Theodore B. Olson, a Republican. Before this, the two lawyers were best known as opponents in the Supreme Court battle over the 2000 election returns in Florida that resulted in George W. Bush becoming president.

 "Some gay activists have been apprehensive about taking this case to the current Supreme Court, fearful that conservative justices could lead it to codify a ban against same-sex marriage. But Mr. Boies and Mr. Olson have argued that this court would be receptive to the arguments they are making and the changing climate in the land."

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